Thank you, Donna. You inspired me. "I am going to rebuild..." "I only need to cling to Him with unwaivering faith, trust and hope..." and perhaps most importantly, "I surrender my will to God."
That's all of it, then, isn't it. And it is enough. I was not as gracious as you at either time of either spouses' deaths. I did come to understand after the first within a few months that his journey had simply ended, and that mine had to go on. But with the second - I was really ANGRY!!!! Not just devestated - I mean really ANGRY!!! I truly felt he had let me down on his side of the bargain. I was doing what I was supposed to do. Was this some kind of crazy, cruel joke. At that time, I did not trust God. BUT - he loved me enough - this one, angry, rebelling child of his - to get me to a place where there was no one to talk to but Him. And we worked it out. I can look at that time now and realize I lived in a miracle. It was a deliberate plan to put me at the place and time where the Holy Spirit could minister to me. And now, as soon as yesterday, and today, I see him working things out for me that I did not think could be worked out - but I trusted and I am trusting him to do it. Several months ago, I remember the day and time - I told Him, too. I surrender everything - my life, my heart, all that I have - all of it - to you and your will. He's taking care of it just fine - and far better than I ever did, or could do. And that has made the difference.
Gals, your posts have lifted me up just when I needed it most. Your posts have lifted me up, and I love you for them, you courageous hearts.
You don't know, dearest one. See, that's what these people in this room have to say to you. Everything in the world can be rocking along just as you thought it should one minute - and the next minute it can be Iwo Jima. And so, from the bottom of the pit, one learns to leave it all up to God, without reservation. With all presumption about what was, what could be, what we thought the future held totally annialated and stripped. Surrender, surrender, surrender. Let go even if just for an hour all expectations that you believe you have for tomorrow. I'm not even talking about one year from now or ten. If you can get to a quiet place, just you and the Lord, and not try to tell him what you want, or think you want, just let him know that you will trust Him for what he wants for you, you will be at peace with today. Be at peace with today. He will take care of all of your tomorrows.
I don't know you, but somehow I feel such an affinity for you. I just want to grab you up and hug you. I hear your anxiety - I'm feeling it. No one of us can calm it for you. But He can, and you have to be willing to let Him do it. Let go of your decision making process for just today, and then tomorrow, and then tomorrow. You will see His hand in what he wants you to do. I promise you that, but it doesn't matter what I promise you or what anyone else says - it only matters what He has promised you.
Your concerns and your questioning is all real and valid and true and full of youth and hope. He wants to give you the desire of your heart. Let Him help you figure out what the desire of your heart is.
I have remembered you in prayer - I am sure a lot of us have because your plea is so sweet and earnest. One of the greatest things about this site is the communion of the saints here in it. Your path will be made clear to you. I have no doubt about it. I don't want you to doubt that either.
This is such an appropriate topic. As just in the last few days I've kind of accepted the fact that maybe the rest of my life is meant to be alone. I must admit I truly rebel against that idea. But, at the same time, I am not sure I am ready to have another serious relationship. I am miserably lonely especially late at night, even though I have many many friends and almost always have something to do with other people. I enjoy my time with them but I come home and it slams into me again that I truly have this huge gaping hole in my soul. I know I could probably find someone to fill it to pretend that it isn't there, but that wouldn't be fair to myself nor the other person. I know that when I do meet a companion that I want to enjoy him and love him as himself and not as a substitute. I just said to my mother that I am having to face the fact that perhaps I will be single for the rest of my life.
I am lonely. I am lonely even with my friends. When I learned that my paper is being published my first thought was tell Petey he'll be so proud, even picked up the phone and then wham the hurt and the pain and the loss. And, worse than being lonely I am so incredibly sad, a deep, sense of sorrow that just permeates my being.
I just wrote about this earlier on my facebook page. I have realized that I have been changed irrevocably on an elemental level and I will never be the same. I literally felt as if the left side of my body had been amputated and was just this gelatinous shell for weeks and weeks, I feel more solid now but it is still there that loss. Everyone tells me it never really goes away but it gets better with time. I remember the process from losing so many others but none of them come anywhere near comparing to this loss. And, to be honest the idea of carrying this aching loss for the next fifty years is terrifying.
I'm sorry not being very positive :-(. I have learned I am stronger than I ever wanted to be. I have learned that even in the midst of my own pain, I can see and care for others in pain. I have learned I can fix the plumbing, mow the lawn, use a saw and a drill, get the tires taken care of and the oil changed. I have learned that one really can continue breathing and living with the most horrendous wound of all in their being. I have learned that my friends love me and don't want me to be sad, so they try really hard to keep me distracted lol. I have learned that I have a little bit of Pete's spirit in that I can cut ties and stand up for myself in ways I never had to before. I have learned that I have a lot of love yet to give. I have learned I can laugh and enjoy life while weeping at the same time.
I spent most of the day in tears, one of those days. The eleven month mark is coming up. My son is deployed and was supposed to be home in four days and now his deployment has been extended indefinitely. He's supposed to be getting married in June? I came to the realization that I am changed and that I may very well remain single the rest of my life, even though that idea is not pleasing to me at all. . .and I miss even the things that sometimes annoyed me about Pete lol. . .and something odd I've noticed, I don't know if anyone else has noticed this. . .everything smells different, I smell different, and I can't find anything that smells like Pete anymore. I have his cologne but it isn't quite the same as how it smelled on him. . .
Sorry I wish this was more positive, I meant it to be. . .perhaps mine is still too fresh :-(((
I noticed that many have changed the house. I did the same thing, I bought a house and started from scratch. My kids were like no mom you need this dad loved these. . .at the end the kids all had to admit the new house and furnishings suited me. I've tried to make it a sanctuary, a place where I feel comfortable and loved and where others can be safe and comforted as well. Pete hated leather furniture all of my living room furniture is leather and its white lol something we could never have because of Pete's work and kids. I am going to try this spring and summer to create a serenity garden in the side yard dedicated to Pete. I wonder why making the space our own seems to be an important theme?
Yesterday I got myself a new drill machine. Now what has a drill machine got to being single????? Yesterday and today, I did a lot of work around the house; work which my husband usually would do. I put in new shelves for my books, did some repairs around the house and I felt really good. I realised I do not need a man. I'm OK and I can survive and thrive on my own. Life's good for me and for my two girls. However that does not mean that life could not be better. I do not need but I would like a man in my life. I miss the companionship and having a best friend with me, someone to love and to be loved. But I realised it's not a need, it's a want for me. And so yes, I have accepted being single.
Lauren, your post was not depressing at all. We have all experienced what you are feeling and will feel. I still have bad days. I still have days where the waterworks won't stop. They are less, but still have them. I am realizing however that my life is complete - another man to love or marry will not make it more complete; rather, it would be icing on the cake. A gracious gift. I, too, miss the talking with a husband. I clearly have memories of us talking a lot, especially or an hour or so before bedtime, and I miss that greatly. I find now that I talk to God the same way I probably talked with a husband. So, there you have it. I have become one of those eccentric old southern gals who, if someone were watching me in my house, would see me going around playing with her dogs and talking to herself!
However, I have made some business decisions over the last couple of years that probably would not have sat well with my husband (actually, some of them didn't sit well with me either). Made some mistakes - regrouped - learned to come back at some things from a different angle. I used to think I wanted to do things in a way that would have made him proud of me, and I suffered when I thought that I made a mistake or did things in a way that he wouldn't have liked. Now I realize how silly that was. Those things don't matter to him anymore. My wellbeing probably does - but not these corporal "things."
You've made it thus far in huge leaps and bounds - you are making it. You are living life. Our scars are tender things, but that is good. Peace be with you for today and all of your tomorrows.
Pauline, I probably have more tools and equipment now than most contractors - and I learned how to use them. And, it's fun!!! Now I understand why guys like them so much.
I have a real angel story. It happened after my first husband passed away. I have to admit - I did not pay the bills, I did not take out the garbage, I did not put gas in the cars or take them for oil changes. In fact, after he passed away I didn't know where to find the garbage bags for the garbage bins, and I remember sitting down at the kitchen table and crying over that one. Probably every creditor in those first months got checks with tear stained writing on them as I would make out bills, as when I sat down to do it I was completely overwhelmed. I didn't know who we owed, didn't know how much money we had or even in which accounts it was. Nothing was ever hid from me, I just didn't have to worry about it because that was his job and he did it so well.
I think about a month after he passed away, I had to go to Sams to get dog food, garbage bags, bulk items, like that. We always purchased 50lb bags of dog food. I was in that isle and found that I couldn't lift the bag onto my cart. So, as I typically did in those days, I broke down into tears - just standing there in the dog food isle. Now, that is an example of how goofy our grief makes us. It did not occur to me (really) to pick up a couple of 10lb bags or even a 25lb bag - I only thought in terms of that 50lb bag. Right then, this lady who was no bigger, taller, than I came down the ilse and lifted that 50lb bag and just tossed it onto her cart as if it were a tissue box. I asked her in amazement how she did it. She smiled a crooked grin and told me that her husband had passed away a year ago, and that her first time to Sams afterwards she realized that she couldn't lift the 50lb bags of dog food. So, she vowed to herself that she would work out and develop her strength and that she would get herself in shape to lift that bag. Then she wished me a good day and went on. That 10 second conversation changed my life. I, too, vowed then and there that I would do exactly what that woman had done, because if she could do it, then so could I. And I did. I learned to get up on the roof and replace damaged shingles. I learned to clear out an acre of trees and overgrowth that my husband had cut, but had not had time to clear. I learned to re-glaze and seal outside windows on the house. To do just about anything I needed to do.
I've never forgotten that woman. I think about her on almost a daily basis. She was my angel.
Way to go Pauline! Everything I learned about home repair I learned from my late husband. I try to remember that, no matter where I go---there I am! When I met Michael we were friends first. I will pray for you and your girls. You are so important to show them what is important in life and what isn't. I work at a Right to Life clinic and so many of my clients grew up with mom's who had "revolving door boyfriends". Not to mention that their biological father's hit the road (usually before they were born). Carpe diem! Pax Christi, Mary Anne
Thanks, Beverly. You are a true gem.
I was just curious because people say that you have to be okay being single before God will give you a husband. It almost seems ironic. If you're okay being single, wouldn't your heart not want marriage? Therefore, if someone came along, would you decide you don't want to marry him because you are okay with being single? Or is it okay to want a husband and occasionally feel lonely but you have to be okay living by yourself first? Which makes the whole discernment process weird because if you decide marriage is for you, then you obviously want marriage. Therefore, are you not okay with being single? I don't even know why I am chosing to put myself through it, as I know I want to be married. Well, I the reason is I want to search for God's will not mine. I'm taking teeny, tiny, baby steps. It's hard to surrender all at once.
I probably sound a little nuts to some of you! I know I am starting to drive myself nuts!
I remember from a very young age that I wanted to get married. I never considered the single or religious life...it didn't even enter my mind. One night, I was in tears, looking at a picture of Christ (on my living room wall) which my mother gave me; and spoke to Him about wanting a relationship, not being sure if I was totally ready for one, but so willing and ready to try...I had had boyfriends that did not work out. A few days later, Ernie came into my life...we dated about 3 months later, and I always knew he was a gift from God...an answer to my prayers and I would tell him so.
I do wish however, that I had not been so hung up about marriage, and had been more comfortable, as I am now, with living by myself (we are never truly alone, God is with us). Trusting God totally is the key. This is where true happiness lies. Nothing then bothers our peace and we are free.
God wants us to love Him above all else, then others. So yes, it is O.K. to desire marriage if it is God's will for us...we must discern this. We are human and God did give Adam a partner in life to share with. He may so decide/desire to give us a partner as well. Whatever He wishes we can also accept it as our wish as well. Jesus did pray/ask our Father too...but then said, " Not My will, but Your will be done." Jesus knew and trusted that whatever our Father's will is, it is the very best...the greater/greatest gift.
I will keep you in prayer.